Consultation feedback

A summary of the feedback received from the 2015 consultation on Island Bay - housing choice and town centre plan.


We received 168 submissions from individuals and organisations in the Island Bay community. These comprised of:

  • 164 submissions from the general community using the feedback forms that were either completed online, emailed or posted to us.
  • 4 submissions from associations (Save Erskine College Trust Inc.; Public Health Association of NZ Inc; Architectural Centre Inc.; and Victoria University School of Architecture).

What you told us - summary

The main messages from the public consultation are as follows:

  • The overall response was generally evenly divided between those who support and those who oppose introducing medium-density housing (MDH) in Island Bay. However, where supported, it was preferred to locate MDH around the town centre and/or along public transport routes.
  • More meaningful consultation is needed on the housing standards. Responses lacked detail due to the broad questions posed. Providing open space, restricting building height to two-storeys, and limiting the scale of individual developments were the main responses. Submitters are concerned that new housing may compromise the local character of Island Bay.
  • Car parking is important, and may involve a range of solutions. Primarily, medium-density housing should provide off-street car parking.
  • Island Bay town centre’s character and atmosphere is highly valued and some submitters are worried about the impact of medium-density housing.
  • The character, accessibility and range of shops, facilities and services are what submitters like the most about the town centre.

Main themes

Common themes emerged throughout the consultation process. The responses highlight what submitters consider important, what’s worth continuing or what needs improving in the residential areas and in the Island Bay town centre.

Medium-density housing themes

  • Generally, people agree that more housing choice and supply is necessary, and many consider Island Bay is suitable for medium-density housing. However, the impact on existing residential character is a main concern.
  • Where specified, the most accepted locations for medium-density housing are around the town centre and along The Parade (due to good public transport connections).
  • Some submitters question the demand for medium-density housing in Island Bay, given the relatively slow population growth in recent years.
  • Housing design controls are important, such as setbacks, heights, open space provisions, access to sunlight, and noise controls.
  • Two storeys is the preferred height. High-quality design and materials are necessary to ensure new housing fits the local context.
  • Future housing should respect Island Bay’s character.
  • A place-based design guide should be compiled to account for Island Bay’s character.
  • Housing design standards should be the same as, or no less stringent than the existing standards.
  • Neighbours’ approval should be sought where medium-density housing goes next to them.

Island Bay town centre themes

  • There is a good community atmosphere.
  • The existing character and scale of the town centre is highly valued.
  • The community would like to see improvements to the public areas in the town centre, including more seating, trees and plants.
  • There is a good range of shops, facilities and services. However. there is a need to attract a wider variety of new businesses.
  • Access to the village is good, including walking, cycling and public transport. However, pedestrian network improvements are needed.
  • Some specifically note that the low vehicle speed is positive, and others would like some recently installed speed humps removed.
  • Open space needs to be kept and, where possible, expanded.
  • General parking availability and commuter parking in residential streets needs to be resolved.

Responses to the questions

Here’s more detail on the responses to each question.

Q. Where should medium-density housing development happen in your suburb?

 Submitters' opinions  Percentage of submitters  Number of submitters
 Support  49%  82
 Oppose  43%  73
 Neutral   8%  13

The numbers

  • 20% of submitters support medium-density housing close to the Island Bay town centre (within 5 minutes walking) or main public transport links.
  • 9% of submitters support medium-density housing 10 minutes from the town centre, and a further 6% of submitters believe it should be located further away in Island Bay.
  • 15% of submitters generally support medium-density housing in Island Bay, but did not specify where in Island Bay they would like it to go. Instead, many noted that prospective development sites should be already vacant, on the flat land, on the surrounding hills, and/or have a minimum site size of 1000m², etc.
  • 27% of submitters do not support medium-density housing in Island Bay for a reason. The main reason is they are concerned about losing Island Bay’s character. Other reasons given are lack of infrastructure capacity and no evidence of housing demand in Island Bay.
  • 16% of submitters do not support medium-density housing generally or in Island Bay, but did not give a reason why they don’t support it in Island Bay or where they don’t want it to go.

Q. What standards should we have to manage the design of medium-density housing?

Common themes from the wide range of responses:

  • Two storeys is an acceptable building height.
  • Privacy, sunlight access and noise restrictions are important.
  • Setbacks, site coverage and insulation are necessary design standards.
  • Medium-density housing needs to be high-quality design and materials.
  • New housing should respect the existing character and scale of established homes.
  • Neighbours’ approval should be sought if medium-density housing will go next door.
  • Landscaping and open space onsite should be included.
  • The development’s overall scale needs to be considered. Some want a limit on individual development size, while others want a minimum development site size.

The numbers

  • 39% of submitters see setbacks, site coverage, sunlight access, privacy, noise and height as main design standards.
  • 24% of submitters specifically want to limit the building height to two storeys (with some wanting houses restricted to a single storey).
  • 21% of submitters recommend medium-density housing should include or have access to outdoor private, green or garden spaces.
  • 19% of submitters want high-quality design and types of materials in the standards.
  • 18% of submitters want building designs to be consistent with the existing character.
  • 13% of submitters support building above two storeys; most of those prefer a maximum of three storeys.
  • 12% of submitters suggest we use the existing rules and controls to govern medium-density housing.
  • 10% of submitters mentioned parking for new developments – the common theme is to provide off-street parking.
  • 8% of submitters suggest design standards should only enable small scale developments, while 7% of submitters suggest a minimum site size for development.
  • 5% of submitters want environmentally-friendly design standards.

Q. What do you like most about your town centre?

Submitters noted that Island Bay town centre is compact and walkable and is well serviced by public transport. There is a strong sense of community and atmosphere. 61% like the scale and range of shops, community services and accessibility and 51% of submitters like the urban character and the community atmosphere.

The numbers

  • 51% of submitters like the existing urban character and community atmosphere.
  • 44% of submitters suggest Island Bay town centre has a good range of shops, facilities and services.
  • 17% of submitters think Island Bay town centre is convenient with good size and access.
  • 6% of submitters highlight they like the open spaces and green character around the town centre, although suggestions were made to enhance open space.
  • 9% of submitters think the town centre has good car parking. This is because free parking is available.
  • 5% of submitters like the low speed limit.

Q. What are the most important issues for your town centre?

Parking and transport in and around Island Bay are the community’s main issues. Many submitters want to keep the town centre’s distinct character and have concerns that a change in housing (potential medium-density housing) in the area may change this.

The numbers

  • 28% of submitters have concerns about the town centre’s future character. In particular, that Island Bay has a distinct identity and community vibe, which could be compromised if there’s poor quality medium-density housing in the immediate surrounds.
  • 20% of submitters mentioned parking issues, particularly the general lack of car parks. Lack of commuter car parks near public transport is often mentioned.
  • 17% of submitters raised concerns with the local road/street network, mainly on the recent local road works, including introducing speed humps, bus stops and the cycleway.
  • 7% of submitters specifically mention shops need to be upgraded and are concerned around viability of earthquake-prone buildings. 
  • 5% of submitters raised concerns about the ongoing economic viability of town centre shops.
  • 5% of submitters raise pedestrian safety as an issue.
  • 4% of submitters want an improved bus service.

Q. Are there any improvements you would like to see in your town centre?

The main improvements wanted in the town centre relate to parking and road networks, maintaining the village character, and public area improvements:

  • 18% of submitters want the centre’s character recognised and preserved.
  • 21% of submitters would like improved parking.
  • 18% of submitters would like to see road network improvements.

The numbers

Transport-related issues attracted a range of suggestions and solutions:

  • 21% would like improved car parking.
  • 18% want road network improvements. Of these, 5% would like the recently introduced speed humps removed.
  • 14% want improvements for pedestrians and cyclists.
  • 4% would like public transport improvements.
  • 19% of submitters want public area improvements, including more seats, better pedestrian networks, and more trees and plants. Others want improved lighting for safety.
  • 18% of submitters would like the town centre’s character and urban form kept or enhanced to reflect its village appeal.
  • 11% of submitters would like the shops to be enhanced and/or upgraded. Some submitters sought redevelopment of some shops and areas, while others simply want cosmetic upgrades.
  • 10% of submitters would like existing community services and/or buildings expanded.
  • 8% of submitters want open spaces kept and expanded, including the facilities in these spaces.
  • 4% want more shopping and retail diversity in the town centre.